Perry is not only a presidential candidate, but also a cowboy-booted sociological experiment. It is almost as if Perry’s political persona was constructed by bundling together all the fears and phantoms in the left-wing anxiety closet. Since the hysteria of the 1950s Red Scare, no Republican figure has matched Perry in his God-given ability to give liberals the heebie-jeebies. Others can rival the governor’s disdain for academic achievement (Palin), his cross-on-the-sleeve religiosity (Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee), and his antipathy to Social Security and Medicare (Paul Ryan and Barry Goldwater). But never before has a top-tier presidential candidate embodied the whole lethal package—and more:
From there, Shapiro discussed five specific areas:
- The God Card
- The Living Constitution in which “Perry stands out for his creative cut-and-paste approach to the Constitution.”
- Pistol-Packing President
- Daring to Call It Treason such as “Perry’s claim that Ben Bernanke would be ‘almost treasonous‘ if he persisted in loosening monetary policy to ward off a double-dip recession.”
Shapiro also referred to other views of Perry, such as the “theory of Dave Mann, editor of the Texas Observer, that Perry’s only governing ideology is ‘crony capitalism.’”
This description of Perry should not only be considered nightmares for liberals. Perry should be nightmares for any thinking American. There is hope that Americans will see how far Perry’s views are from mainstream American values since, as Greg Sargent discussed, his views are out there in black and white. I recently noted how Perry’s campaign is embarrassed by Perry’s writings which oppose Social Security. His latest embarrassment is Perry’s comparison of homosexuality to alcoholism in a 2008 book. With the number of extremist views present in his book, Rick Perry should even be a nightmare for any Republicans who realize that they have to appeal beyond the far right in order to win.